Putin says Western weapons, support not helping Ukraine

AFP , Friday 21 Jul 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Kyiv's counteroffensive, launched to push Russian troops back in the south and east of Ukraine, was failing despite military and financial support from Western countries.

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via a video link in Moscow on July 21, 2023. AFP


"In any case, there are no results yet" of the counteroffensive, Putin said in televised remarks from a meeting of the Kremlin's Security Council.

Kyiv last month launched a long-anticipated counteroffensive after stockpiling Western weapons.

"Neither the colossal resources that have been pumped into the Kyiv regime nor the supplies of Western weapons, tanks, artillery, armoured vehicles and missiles are helping," Putin said.

Moscow's forces still occupy swathes of southern and eastern Ukraine and large parts of the front appears to be frozen.

Earlier this week a senior presidential aide in Kyiv told AFP the operation would be "long and difficult" and called on allies to send more armoured vehicles and weapons.

Poland, one of Ukraine's staunchest allies, has provided Kyiv with arms and welcomed refugees.

It has however shown no interest in sending troops to Ukraine.

Putin singled out Poland and accused its leaders of trying to "directly intervene in the conflict" to occupy Ukrainian land.

Poland has reinforced its defences at the border with Russia-allied Belarus, where fighters from mercenary force Wagner moved after an aborted mutiny in Russia.

Belarusian territory, which borders Ukraine as well as EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania, served as a launching pad for Russia's Ukraine offensive.

Putin warned that Moscow would use "all the means at our disposal" to protect Belarus in case of an attack.

"Unleashing aggression against Belarus will mean aggression against the Russian Federation," Putin said.

Russia has begun transferring tactical nuclear warheads into Belarus.

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